If I have been injured in a car accident, do I have to disclose my personal medical information to my no-fault insurance company?

The short answer is, yes, with limitations. Generally, you must cooperate with your no-fault insurance company in order to receive medical and lost wages. However, this does not mean your insurance company has a right to see your entire medical history. It is important to note that an insurance company may not view your medical history without your written permission. Therefore, you should limit any medical authorization to the date of the accident and the body part that was injured. Your insurance company does not have the right to any unrelated medical records, only records that relate to injuries you sustained in the car accident.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) gives you rights over your health information. With a few exceptions, you have the right to inspect, review and get a copy of your medical records and billing records. If you would like a copy of your medical records, you may have to put your request in writing and pay the cost of copying. Pursuant to the New York Public Health Law, a provider may impose a reasonable charge to make a copy of your medical records, but it may not to exceed 0.75 cents per page. In addition, a provider may not deny you a copy of your records because you have not paid for the medical services.

It is important that you review your medical records and make sure the information is accurate. If you believe there has been a mistake, you can request that the health care provider or health plan amend the record. The health care provider or health plan must respond to your request. If there has been an error, the record must be amended. If the health care provider or health plan does not agree there has been a mistake, you still have the right to have your disagreement noted in the file. The record should be updated within 60 days in most cases.

Health information is private and should be protected. If you believe your HIPPA rights are being violated, you should contact an attorney to protect your rights.